Friday, May 8, 2009

busy, busy, busy

Guys, I have been so busy, it is not even funny.

I'm working two jobs, preparing for two shows, trying to move, and oh yeah -- have a life on top of that.

Not that I'm complaining. Just saying -- I need some sleep!

First of all: I'm participating in the Fiber Arctic show at Schmancy. The list of artists participating looks awesome and I am really excited to be included in this show. I only wish I could attend the opening!

Second: I've gotten some questions about the construction of the Bryan Ferry rug, so I'll go ahead and elaborate on my process with that.

The rug was made using an old speed tufting tool. I bought it on Ebay for about $5. My internet-friend and awesome artist Andy told me about this tool after we bonded over latch-hook rugs.

The BF rug was the first project I ever made with this tool. This tends to be how I operate: make something really huge and complicated using a technique I've never tried before. Get really frustrated and make lots of mistakes because I didn't bother to do something smaller first.

So, for starters: the tool is not really that speedy. It SEEMS speedy. But in order to actually fill in the canvas enough that you can't see the fabric through the tufts, you really need to make a LOT of stitches. I had to go over certain areas again and again, long after I was certain they were filled in sufficiently. It's also pretty hard on your hands and arms. In the future I'll do this with a better frame and more ergonomic set up (as opposed to kneeling on my hardwood floor with a pillow beneath my knees).

One thing that's nice is you really don't waste very much yarn at all, and if you screw up you can rip out a section and re-do it pretty easily. For future tufting projects I'll probably either go smaller or invest in a real tufting gun for large items. These are pretty expensive, however, so I'll probably have to take up a collection to do it. Potential benefactors: please email me at the address in my profile. :)

People ask me how I make my patterns all the time, and the honest answer is: I really don't. The reason for this is: I know how I work. I view making art as a sort of puzzle, one that I really enjoy solving. If I feel I've solved the puzzle, I don't want to complete the piece. For this reason, I tend to do very little sketching before I begin a piece. This isn't to say I don't plan -- I spend hours agonizing over the colors, calculating how much yarn I'll need, tweaking the design, but when it comes to actually putting the image on the cloth, I do very little. I prefer to look at an image I've drawn on paper and then attempt to transfer that to the cloth with very little assistance from a projector or pattern. The reasons for this include: I am crazy; I like things to be really tedious and difficult; and most importantly: I really feel that I want to have as few steps as possible between the idea in my head, and what comes from my hand. The more messing with and transfers of the image that I do, the more I feel the image deviates from the original idea.

Back to work with me! I have a new latch hook project on the way and another embroidery too. Pics will come as they are completed! As always works in progress can be seen on my flickr.

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